Kirsten Ogden Brings Big City Media and Advertising Experience to the Bay
Growing up in Auckland, Kirsten Ogden, loved her holidays in the Bay visiting family. However, as she built up a fast-paced career in media and advertising in Auckland and London, she thought that trying to pursue her career ambitions whilst living in Tauranga would be a pipe dream.
Kirsten’s perspective changed after she and her English husband, Gavin, got married in Papamoa in 2016. The city suddenly felt like the perfect place to create a future, so the couple started looking at ways to make the move a reality.
A year later, Kirsten found herself putting her vast experience to good use at one of Tauranga’s most effective and successful brand innovation companies, WOODS. Gavin took the opportunity to diversify and start a new business, creating video content for local businesses. Safe to say, the happy couple is thriving in Tauranga, both personally and professionally.
Kirsten, can you give us a snapshot of your career?
I studied advertising at AUT and, upon graduation, ended up working in media with a short stint at the NZ Herald before starting my career in magazines with AGM Publishing. It was a great place to work, but it was soon time to travel on my OE.
I landed a role at a bespoke publisher in South Kensington in London. In my seven years there I gained experience working for top UK magazine and book publishers, learning about the world of print and media.
I met Gavin – he was working as the editor of Official Xbox Magazine – and I convinced him to move to Auckland – a city on the other side of the world! In Auckland, I joined Tangible Media where I was production and studio manager for their magazine brands, including Dish, Idealog, Habitat, and NZ Weddings. Later, I worked in the content agency team, creating content for brands like Beef + Lamb NZ, Resene, and Tourism Australia. I loved my career in Auckland, but life in the Bay was calling.
What drew you to Tauranga?
My parents, aunty, uncle, and cousins are all here. With Gavin’s family being back in England and my sister living in Perth, moving down to Tauranga made sense as we wanted to be closer to the family we have here in New Zealand.
Last winter, when we were still living in Auckland, we got married on Papamoa Beach on a beautiful, sunny day. It was a small but special ceremony surrounded by our closest family.
We now live in the new Golden Sands development in Papamoa and can visit the spot of our wedding whenever we want as we live just down the road!
What was your experience of finding work in Tauranga?
I was lucky to find a role at a local agency in Tauranga before making the move, which got the ball rolling and solidified our decision to relocate from Auckland. I’m now enjoying a new role at WOODS. We had always been reluctant to make the move in the past, especially because of our media backgrounds with most of the work being in the larger cities, but there are opportunities here for people with good experience.
Tell us about your role at WOODS.
WOODS Brand Innovation is a supportive and innovative company creating world-class work for its clients. I’m an Account Manager, working with clients on anything and everything, from brand and marketing strategy, design, websites, and content creation. I’m pretty excited about working with such a talented, creative team and having fantastic clients that really get what we do.
Have you had any connection with Priority One?
One of my roles for WOODS is working on the Young Innovator Awards, which is run by Priority One. They add a lot of value to the community and if I hadn’t found a job before moving here, I definitely would have used their knowledge and experience to help connect me to the right people to find a suitable role here in the Bay.
Tell us about Gavin’s video production company.
Gavin comes from a media and communications background, working in Auckland for leading brands like Facebook, Instagram, Fitbit, and Xbox. During the last three years, he saw that more brands wanted video alongside traditional public relations activities. He had an interest in video and some equipment so he began offering video production as a service. Since moving to Papamoa he’s launched Social Video which creates affordable video content for small businesses in the Bay.
What has surprised you about Tauranga?
Everyone we’ve met is super friendly and helpful. I’m surprised that there are traffic jams, but also that peak time at the supermarket only means two or three people in the queue in front of you.
I knew that the pay wouldn’t compare to Auckland, but it’s worth swapping the salaries for the lifestyle: we can walk to the beach from our house and we no longer have a crippling mortgage.
What can Tauranga offer you and your family that Auckland couldn’t?
A safe environment to bring up a family, a chance to live close to the beach and enjoy everything we loved about holidaying here but now on a daily basis.
What do you love about Tauranga?
I love being close to the beach. I’m impressed by the growing café culture and restaurants. I feel like there is a lot going on here, in a good way. I enjoy local yoga classes, meeting up with new friends, and spending more time with family.
We love our neighborhood in Papamoa. Lots of people are new to the area and it has a good community feel about it. We are pretty excited about the new movie theatre, restaurants, and bars that are being built.
What has moving to Tauranga meant …
For your wellbeing?
I’m more relaxed; I have a busy job but I’m not there till eight o’clock every night. I am achieving a better work-life balance which was always the goal.
For your career?
A chance to use my background and experience in a new city. I’m excited about the new year and really settling into my role at WOODS.
For your family?
Being closer together, we don’t have to travel three hours south to see them. I can pop in on the way home which is a really nice change.
Gets You Thinking Doesn’t It?
No one can tell you when you’re ready for a change of lifestyle…but when you are, we’d love to have you in Tauranga!
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